Kremlin Cup: Yuki Bhambri advances to the second round

2017 Citi Open
Yuki Bhambri looks to finish the season on a high
Sudeshna Banerjee

Indian tennis ace Yuki Bhambri continues his good run as he made it through to the second round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Monday. The World No. 146 needed 1 hour 6 minutes to beat the 475th ranked Roman Safiullin of Russia 6-2, 6-4, in a battle of former junior Australian Open champions.

Although the 20-year-old Russian powered seven aces past Bhambri and had 84% first serves in, he presented the Indian with seven break point opportunities out of which Yuki converted three. In contrast, the Indian did not face any break point.

Bhambri finished with a total of 60 points while Safullin could manage to bag only 41 points. Yuki will next meet the winner of the first round contest between the sixth seeded Damir Dzhumur and Thomas Fabbiano.

Bhambri entered the main draw of this ATP 250 tournament after winning two rounds in qualifying. He first beat Serbia’s 263rd ranked Danilo Petrovic 6-4, 6-4 and then followed it up with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Russia’s 188th ranked Alexey Vatutin in the final round of qualifying.

Yuki came into this tournament on the back of a runner-up finish in doubles alongside Divij Sharan at the Tashkent Challenger last Friday.

The 25-year-old is the only Indian playing at this tournament this week.

The Delhi player, who struggled with elbow injury in 2016, made a memorable run to the quarter-finals of the Citi Open in Washington in August before losing to the US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson.

Also read: Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan go down in Tashkent Challenger final

Paes, Sharan also in action this week

Meanwhile, Divij Sharan will look to push aside the Tashkent setback as he sets his eyes on the title at another ATP 250 event in Antwerp where he is playing with American Scott Lipsky. The two begin their campaign against the local pair of Steve Darcis and Arthur De Greef.

At the ATP 250 tournament in Stockholm, Leander Paes has teamed up with his compatriot Purav Raja. The two have a tough challenge as they have the third seeds Jack Sock and Nenad Zimonjic in the first round.

Over in WTA, India’s Prarthana Thombare will be in action at the Luxembourg Open alongside Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu. They begin their quest against the Brazilian-Paraguayan combine of Beatriz Haddad Maia and Veronica Cepede Royg.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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